News: ‘Best in the West’ Champions Reunite to Open 101 BBQ Hut in Westlake Village | CitizenWire

Marco Gonzalez and Dennis Ofsthun at 101 BBQ Hut in Westlake Village, California

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. /CitizenWire/ -- 101 BBQ Hut, formerly known as Willy's Smokehouse and Rib Ticklers BBQ, announces its grand opening on January 13, 2024. This exciting event will showcase their award-winning BBQ and Blue Ribbon Sauces to the local community.

The venture, helmed by Marco Gonzalez and Dennis Ofsthun, traces its roots back to a 30-year history rooted in a serendipitous encounter over a sauce recipe at Marco's taco place in Saticoy, California.

The recipe, crafted by Willy Harris, a military cook and former personal chef to Bob Hope during USO tours, captivated many, including Mr. Hope and his friends. After Willy's passing, Ofsthun, inspired and driven, established Rib Ticklers BBQ in Gig Harbor, WA. Unexpectedly, a caller claimed ownership of Willy Harris' recipes and smoker. A partnership ensued, leading to accolades like winning the prestigious 1st place at the American Royal BBQ sauce contest in Kansas City, solidifying their decision to bottle these remarkable sauces.

In 1993, armed with a van full of sauce, a smoker in tow, and a treasure trove of awards, Ofsthun ventured to SoCal, where he met Marco Gonzalez. A connection sparked over a taco and beer, leading to joint successes, including winning the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. This collaboration birthed Rib Ticklers BBQ on Kanan, evolving into Willy's Smokehouse, now Tavern 101. In 2007, Ofsthun's departure left Gonzalez at the helm, steering the legacy with warmth and hospitality while supporting local causes and organizations.

Gonzalez and Ofsthun reunite to introduce 101 BBQ Hut, delivering genuine southern-style slow-smoked BBQ and blue ribbon sauces to Westlake Village. Join them on January 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for FREE SAMPLES.

For more information, visit

101 BBQ Hut, 30768 Russell Ranch Rd Ste. A, Westlake Village, CA 91362

Learn More:

This version of news story was published on and is Copr. © 2024 CitizenWire™ ( - part of the Neotrope® News Network, USA - all rights reserved.

Information is believed accurate but is not guaranteed. For questions about the above news, contact the company/org/person noted in the text and NOT this website.

Part of the Neotrope® News Network, USA.